Bus To Wild Garlic Walks
In April and May, our ancient woodlands are awash with the white, starry flowers and smell of wild garlic. Millions of bulbs can exist in just one wood, giving rise to dazzling 'white carpets'.
Wild garlic spends most of the year as a bulb underground in ancient woodland, only emerging to flower and leaf from April onwards. This early flowering allows it to make the most of the sunlight that is still able to make it to the forest floor habitat, before the canopy becomes too dense. Millions of bulbs may exist in one wood, causing the white, starry carpets and strong garlic smell we so keenly associate with this flower. Wild garlic attracts the attention of plenty of pollinating insects, including hoverflies, butterflies and longhorn beetles.
How to identify
Wild garlic is an unmistakeable plant - the garlicy smell alone can be a tell-tale sign! Otherwise, look for rounded clusters of star-like, white flowers borne on straight green stems. Its leaves are grey-green, oval and narrow, and grow around the base of the stem.
Black Rock Nature Reserve, Cheddar
The path, or vehicle track, from the B3135 first enters the 181 acre Black Rock Nature Reserve, climbing gently along the valley floor, which here is enclosed by a cool, moist forest of tall trees, and much undergrowth. The valley sides slope steeply upwards and in spring are covered with numerous flowers of bluebell and wild garlic.
Holcombe, near Midsomer Norton
Edford Wood is full of wild garlic in late March & April. Edford Wood's are
near the bottom of Holcombe Hill. Download the Ordinance Survey map
or buy a map of the area showing the location: The location can be seen
service drops you off in Holcombe.
Midford via Tucking Mill to Hinton Charterhouse & Wellow
The woods around Midford via Tucking Mill to Hinton Charterhouse and
Wellow are particularly spectuacular when the wild garlic is in flower.
By bus: First Bus D2.
Mells, near Frome
The woods around Mells and near Gay Street bus stop are carpetted with wild garlic at this time of year.
If you plan to walk around Wells and on some of the footpaths it’s worth downloading the Ordinance Survey app in advance or buying a local map.
There are some lovely walks through Mells especially around the Mells Estate via a bridle path. You can walk along the Mells River and see a small waterfall. Only a short way down the path are some ruins of Fussell’s old iron works (https://www2.bgs.ac.uk/.../Industrial.../fussells.html ). While some of these are now out of bounds many of the old works can still be explored.
After all that exercise you might be ready for something else to eat. You can eat at the Mells Café. Our you could go to The Talbot Inn (https://www.talbotinn.com/) – a stylish 15th century former coaching inn or grab a bite to eat at The Walled Garden Cafe (https://www.thewalledgardenatmells.co.uk/cafe ). The Walled Garden Cafe offers a good selection of pizzas (cooked in a wood-fired oven), sandwiches, salads and other light bites. This is a plant nursery, so there are plenty of great things to look at and buy.
By Bus: Libra Travel's 184 - Gay Street bus stop
Montacute House is a stunning example of Elizabethan Renaissance architecture and design, with towering walls of glass, glowing ham stone and surrounding garden. I'ts one of the few remaining Elizabethan compartmentalised gardens. Lawns, flower borders and clipped yew hedges. It's one of the finest National Trust houses in Somerset and well worth a visit
The woods around Montacute are carpeted with wild Garlic in March and April.
Address: Montacute House, Montacute, TA15 6XP
Contact: 01935823289 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Nearest bus stop for Montacute House: Montacute, The Borough
Bus service: South West Coaches - bus service 81 - Monday to Saturday except Bank Holidays
JUST ACROSS THE BORDER
Prior Park, Bath (National Trust)
You can enjoy the elegant surroundings of an 18th-century landscape garden in Bath, while also finding banks of wild snowdrops in its woodlands.
Winter is a good time to explore Prior Park, with bare trees opening up views across the garden and towards the city. After visiting the garden’s famous Palladian Bridge, it’s worth wandering further and taking to a woodland trail.
When the National Trust bought the property in 1993 the timber ruins of an old summerhouse were found deep in the woods. In 2004 the structure was rebuilt, and it is now the perfect place to stop and rest, surrounded by trees and native flowers – including the many snowdrops which cover the woodland floor.
It’s a beautiful, natural display, the snowdrops later giving way to daffodils and wild garlic.
For more information: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/bath-bristol/prior-park-landscape-garden
By bus: First Bus D2 short walk from Bath bus station or catch the First Bus 2.